UPDATE: As of Friday, May 8, until further notice, the WNC Nature Center is still temporarily closed to the public. The Nature Center is working closely with the City of Asheville to determine the safest possible date to reopen. This will most likely take place during Phase 3 of North Carolina’s Stay at Home order. 

Open 361 Days a Year: 10:00am – 5:00pm, last entry 4:30pm

American Black Bear

American Black Bear

Ursus americanus

Appearance: American black bears, despite their name, may appear brown, tan, or even white. During the winter, these large, powerful creatures can weigh over 500 pounds before they enter a state of dormancy called torpor, which helps them conserve energy while food is less abundant. Long, powerful, non-retractable claws make them excellent climbers, an necessary skill in the search for food and safety.

Range: The black bear can be found throughout North America, particularly in forested areas. Their home range may expand to more than 5,000 acres for a single bear and often overlaps with others.

Diet: Black bears are innovative omnivores, making “bear-proofing” a serious task for many local homeowners. In the wild, these bears forage a variety of grasses, fish, berries, fruits, nuts, insects, small rodents, birds, and eggs.

Uno

Uno was wild-born in January 2004, but he was removed from the wild at a young age for unknown reasons. He was donated to the WNC Nature Center in 2006 because he had imprinted on humans and could not return to the wild.

Uno loves to play! He will splash in the pool, run through his habitat, and climb his climbing structure and trees for fun. The bear that lived here before him, named Zero, inspired Uno’s name.

Ursa

Like Uno, Ursa was wild-born in February 2001, but she was also removed from the wild for unknown reasons and never learned the necessary survival skills to live in the wild. She was donated to the WNC Nature Center in fall 2002.

Ursa keeps her distance from Uno during the summer, but they enjoy sharing a den together in the winter. She is named for the Ursa Major family of star constellations, which is Latin for “great bear.”

Meet our other animals

American Black Bear

American Black Bear

Generally shy and reclusive animals, black bears avoid human contact and are not normally aggressive. Two black bears, Uno and Ursa, live at the Nature Center.

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Red Wolf Karma

American Red Wolf

Red wolves are highly endangered species that has been eliminated from almost all of its natural range. Our breeding pair of red wolves, Karma and Garnet, are part of the AZA Species Survival Plan.

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Angora Goat

Angora Goat

Angoras are primarily browsing animals and thrive best where there is a good cover of brush, weeds, and grass.    Disliking the rain, Angoras are well adapted to a dry, mild climate.

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